What do these three films have in common:
Wings (1926), Grand Hotel (1932), and Driving Miss Daisy (1989)?
Answer: The commonality between these three films is that they Oscar for best picture while their directors were not nominated for the best director Oscar.
As I'm sure you know, this year there will be 10 Best Picture nominees instead of the usual 5. (There were 10 nominees for 11 years between 1933 and 1943, and this upcoming year, we will see 10 again).
So, it's hard to think that year end when the best picture nominees are announced the the nominees for Best Director will be very telling as to what films are "tier A" vs "tier B" nominations.
It's unfortunate, because the truth is, we won't really know how these films ranked in the nomination process and it could be easy to discount some nominations and say "that film wouldn't have been nominated if they hadn't expanded it to a 10 film race."
In fact, one has to wonder if it really will be a 10 film race, surely there will be two or three films that are clearly duking it out, and it would be my assumption that those two or three films will also have director nominations as well.
So, even though I am about ready to adjust my June predictions, you can believe, I am paying attention to to the directors of these films as well, because it's hard to imagine the eventual winning film not at least carrying it's director along as well.
With this in mind, expect to see best director predictions for the 2009 film year soon. Feel free to share yours as well.
(Note: The directors who were not nominated along with these three best picture winning films were William A. Wellman, Edmund Goulding, and Bruce Beresford.)